Why MSK Ultrasound? Read how and why healthcare professionals should embrace MSK ultrasound

The use of ultrasound within the motor system, or musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSKUS), has increased in popularity within both primary and secondary healthcare over the last few years. The reasons are clear:

  • Better healthcare and patient well-being improves as a result of improved practice and professional quality as assessment, clinical reasoning and decision making is improved.
  • MSK ultrasound prepares you and your practice for the future, where more tasks will have to be performed by healthcare professionals without referring to specialist.
  • If you already are a Musculoskeletal expert, with the addition of MSK ultrasound you become a complete professional, and add an extra tool to your toolbox.
MSKUS is used to visualize muscles, tendons, ligament, nerves and sometimes blood vessels of the upper and lower limbs, to assess their shape, echogenicity, continuity and function. Scientific research shows that clinical tests are often not specific enough and inadequate to come to a correct functional diagnosis. False positives can occur often and for effective patient care, it is important to limit these mistakes as much as possible.

The Advantages of MSKUS are:

  1. Good validity – backed by high quality research
  2. Dynamic real-time examination
  3. Examination of both sides allows for bi-lateral comparisons
  4. Non-invasive patient friendly method
  5. Mobility of ultrasound systems
  6. Low cost of examination
  7. Low risk (no ionizing radiation)
  8. Fast examination (both time and reactivity)
  9. High resolution (especially with more expensive systems)
  10. Great possibilities  for patient evaluation, information and educational uses.

Sonography is heavily operator dependent and the accuracy of its findings depends to a great extent on the experience and expertise of the operator. A high-end operator using average equipment performs better than an average operator using high-end equipment. To get the job done,the priority of investment should be education, not equipment.
(Arend, 2013)